The trip of a lifetime came to an abrupt end for three Canadians when their cruise ship landed in Sydney, Australia on Sunday, Aug 28.
If you haven’t already heard, two women in their twenty’s and a man in his sixty’s (whose connection with the women is unclear) were flagged by officials as “high-risk passengers,” and searched upon their arrival in Sydney. Authorities then found a total of 30 million dollars worth of (very poorly concealed) cocaine in their collective suitcases.
What makes this story especially interesting is the fact that one of the women, (Instagram username: @melinar___) was posting photos of the entire trip to Instagram. She used a public account and geotagged her snaps every step along the way, leaving behind an intriguing digital trail.
Isabelle Lagace, 28, and Melina Roberge, 22 – on what probably WAS their last visit to French Polynesia
By documenting their travels so comprehensively, these women have brought the term ‘oversharing’ to a whole new level.
Screenshot courtesy of Echosec
By doing a simple username search on Echosec, we were able to re-live the journey these women had. Echosec is an Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) tool which displays all publically posted, geo-tagged social data on a map.
Social Media Intelligence (SOCMINT) refers to the tools and solutions used to monitor social channels and conversations. SOCMINT delivers a brand new type of information, and Echosec is the cutting-edge way to access it.
The value of a search engine like Echosec is increasingly apparent as more and more individuals are documenting the minute details of their lives on social media. This bust would’ve likely happened with or without the Instagram posts, however, the social play-by-play has twisted this saga into an interestingly interactive one. When we last checked (Aug. 31, 2016), @melinar___ had racked up 10.8 thousand Instagram followers (up from around 7 thousand this morning and, we can only assume, far fewer a week ago). Most of this new-found attention is highly negative. On a public profile, anyone can comment on a user’s posts. Lots of people are seizing the opportunity to publically shame @melinar___ for her questionable career move.
“If you didn’t Gram it, it didn’t happen!”- Instagram-era mantra
We have yet to learn what the future holds for this trio. We can assume that this escapade will shape the rest of their lives.
Perhaps longer, because a digital footprint never dies.
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